Carb Cravings Without Wheat
I haven’t been able to eat wheat for a few years, and in the interim it became a bit of a fad to eat gluten-free. On one hand, I can’t help but think, if wheat doesn’t make you feel ill, please please enjoy a crunchy baguette — do it for me! (Or a brioche, maybe a croissant, you get the idea… )
On the other hand, this has lead to a whole bunch of new options that are actually delicious, now that there is a larger market of people to buy them. These include some of the most crave-worthy foods — hooray! Prompted by a pizza date with Natalie, I thought I would share a few recent finds. (P.S. Not all of these may be appropriate for people with celiac who have to be extremely careful. P.P.S I am generally a pretty healthy eater, but you’ve got to mix it up sometimes! ;) )
Gluten-free pizza is becoming much easier to find, and dare-I-say, delicious! Of course, this is not going to be the same as the bubbly/airy/crunchy regular pizza dough, but it can still be very, very good. My Boston faves are Pastoral and Oath Pizza (a very new discovery). Pastoral has a great open space in Fort Point, and a nice selection of beer, wine, and cocktails. The oven is imported directly from Naples, and they roast veggies in it too – so good. The pizza tastes a bit like a chapati — the whole wheat, chewy Indian flatbread. I always get the classic Margherita – melted fresh mozzarella, basil, and that chewy crust – yum!
Oath Pizza has an outpost on Nantucket, a booth in South Station, a recently opened shop in Chestnut Hill and one coming to Davis Square soon, and are poised to expand further. The restaurants are casual, with patrons ordering at the counter. The crust is cooked in a non-traditional way that allows the pizza to be ready super quickly, and the toppings are creative. They currently use Udi’s gluten-free crust, which when cooked with their method was so good! Very crunchy and satisfying. The basic cheese pizza was especially good. (Natalie vouched for the gluten-y crust, and the cookie pizza that she had for dessert!)
Coffee Shop Treats.
Meeting people for coffee while hungry used to be so sad — all those muffins but nothing for me! The scene now is so much better! The winner here in my mind is Thinking Cup (cafes on Newbury in the Back Bay, Hanover in the North End, and Tremont opposite the Common). Lattes always come with pretty foam art, and there are so many good non-wheat food options! Sandwiches can be ordered on gluten-free bread (the bread slices are small, but still! It’s a sandwich!), creamy chia pudding with jam, French-style macarons, coconut macaroons, and gluten free cookies. Plus, they have salads and often have fruit salad and fresh orange juice. I have some serious love for this place.
Tatte is another good option, although they definitely don’t have as many food options (piles and piles of pastries here!), the coffee is good and they do make a ‘flourless’ brownie that is a very nice accompaniment. I have a weakness for their halloumi salad. Locations in Brookline, Charles Street, and three in Cambridge.
Elsewhere, Georgetown Cupcakes on Newbury Street has a daily gluten-free cupcake. These are good, but I generally prefer less gooey desserts. You can check the menu online to see which flavor they will have that day (my favorite is the chocolate salted caramel). They also make a vegan version. Kane’s Donuts supposedly makes a gluten-free donut that is good, but I haven’t tried it (yet).
Grocery Store Finds.
I love Cup4Cup gluten-free flour. It is definitely pricey, but I tend to use it in recipes that have very little flour (brownies, banana bread, oatmeal cookies, etc) so one bag lasts a while. Things turn out so well, and it is awesome not to have to make my own complicated blend and cross my fingers that things will behave as I hope in the oven! Tinkyada pasta works well and is an easy base for weekday dinner. Tate’s Bake Shop makes really good ginger and chocolate chip cookies that can be found at many stores, and Glutino makes delicious oreo-style cookies and pretzels. The pretzels are awesome.
I hope this list is helpful to someone in a similar situation. And please share any other finds in the comments!